California Operation Lifesaver Receives Rail Safety Education Grant

May 24, 2017 – California Operation Lifesaver has been awarded a grant from                Operation Lifesaver, Inc., (OLI) in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for rail crossing safety public education efforts in conjunction with                      U.S. Rail Safety Week (RSW), September 24-30.

Federal statistics show that about every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States. California ranks 2nd nationally for crossing collisions, with 52 deaths and 50 injuries and a total of 167 grade crossing incidents.

The state program will use the funding to raise awareness among residents about how to keep themselves and others safe at railroad crossings. The grant project includes grade crossing TV public service advertising (PSA) campaign in markets that have experienced an increase in crossing incidents. California Operation Lifesaver will also incorporate activities throughout the state September California Rail Safety Month, and partner with Union Pacific and Metrolink police departments on enforcement events and community outreach in Los Angeles County during Rail Safety Month and U.S. Rail Safety Week (RSW).

The grant will run from mid-August to September 30, 2017, and will include messaging surrounding RSW, September 24-30, 2017.

“This grant allows us to support U.S. Rail Safety Week activities in California, as part of our mission to eliminate collisions, injuries and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings,” said Nancy Sheehan, California Operation Lifesaver State coordinator. “We are grateful to the Federal Highway Administration for facilitating this much-needed effort to improve safety in our state.”

California Operation Lifesaver is making critical strides to reduce tragic collisions at highway-rail crossings throughout the state. The California Operation Lifesaver Board of Directors is proud to support these lifesaving efforts surrounding Rail Safety Week to help the public know how important it is to act safety at crossings. Together, we can save lives.”

U.S. Rail Safety Week will feature awareness events throughout the country, as well as digital and radio ad campaigns targeted to drivers of all ages, with a goal to empower people to keep themselves safe near tracks and trains.

Operation Lifesaver offers these rail safety tips to keep drivers safe every week of the year:

  • Trains and cars don’t mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn’t safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Learn More: http://www.caol.us                                                                                                         Follow: http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                 Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

About Operation LifesaverOperation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI will lead a national observance of U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30, 2017. Learn more about U.S. Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

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California Operation Lifesaver notes an increase in 2016 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2015 levels

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2016 vs. 2015

Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis

FRA 2016 Stats (2)

Graeagle CA March 17, 2017 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in California rose by 11.3 percent in 2016 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) rose according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver. The group cited preliminary 2016 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan. “We will continue our work giving people across California important information on how to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe near tracks and trains,” Sheehan said.

Nationally, vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail grade crossings fell 2.4 percent in 2016; however, the number of people killed in crossing incidents rose 13.7 percent last year. Deaths in 2016 from train track trespassing increased 12.8 percent, and trespass injuries jumped 16.4 percent; total trespass-related casualties (deaths plus injuries) increased 14.5 percent from 2015 levels, Sheehan explained.

Overall, California’s crossing collisions rose from 150 in 2015 to 167 in 2016. FRA statistics reveal that California crossing fatalities rose 79.3 percent to 52; and crossing injuries rose 11.1 percent to 50. Trespass fatalities increased 17.4 percent in 2016 to 101, and trespass injuries rose 73.1 percent in 2016 to 90.

“This year, we will again honor September Rail Safety Month in California and we will participate in the U.S. Rail Safety Week, September 24-30,” state coordinator Sheehan continued. We look forward to working with our safety partners to raise awareness among California residents of the need to always use caution near crossings and refrain from trespassing on the tracks.” She concluded.

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Learn more:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

 

 

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2016 Fades Into 2017

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of this year, a year filled with challenges to meet and goals to achieve. 2016 has been a busy year for California Operation Lifesaver. The number and variety of events we participated in grew with every month of the year, reaching a broad demographic with every outreach.

As in years past, raising rail safety awareness took a team of outstanding volunteers, rail safety partners, and many proactive communities willing to become involved in sharing the message.

2016 took us down familiar and important rail safety educational pathways. Pathways where our amazing team of California Operation Lifesaver Volunteers delivered our rail safety education in presentations and at events statewide. We could not achieve this grassroots outreach without the amazing commitment of our volunteer team.

California Operation Lifesaver was grateful to be awarded two special grants.

  • The Operation Lifesaver/Federal Railroad Administration (OLI/FRA) grant was utilized for trespassing and grade crossing  campaigns  These campaigns gave us a rail safety messaging reach of over 5 million people.
  • The Operation Lifesaver/Federal Highway Administration (OLI/FHWA) grant helped us utilize digital advertising targeting sports venues across the state.  Over 4.5 million were reached with this campaign during September Rail Safety Month.

Our Rail Safety Partners supported our efforts, participated in outreach, and invited CAOL to join them in their rail safety campaigns. Our Rail Safety Partners help make it possible for us to grow our mission and save lives with rail safety education.

Current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) preliminary statistics:

  • Through October 2016,  our Grade Crossing incidents are down 6% during this same time frame in 2015
  • Our Trespass casualties are up 14% through October 2016 during this same time frame in 2015
  • The numbers at this point indicate that California continues to be number 1 in Trespass casualties and number 2 in Grade Crossing incidents

These statistics demonstrate the continued need for raising rail safety awareness and our rail safety education. They reveal the need for multiple formats to grow the message.   Most importantly they emphasize the importance of rail safety partnerships. It is through teaming up and partnering that we are able to identify where and who is in need of our messages. It is through these partnerships and proactive involvement of communities across California that we can create ways to educate the public to make good decisions near railroad tracks.

As we embark into 2017, the New Year offers us the opportunity to carry forward all the important rail safety messaging we created and shared in 2016.  At the same time it offers us the opportunity to start anew to create more rail safety messaging and partner to grow rail safety awareness and save more lives.

California Operation Lifesaver is grateful to our team of volunteers for all they do to share and save lives with our rail safety education statewide.  We are thankful to all of our Rail Safety Partners for their support and dedication that helped us grow our message in 2016.

We look forward to working with our volunteer team and with our rail safety partners in 2017. Together we will make it our goal to change the numbers to make rail safety a priority and raise rail safety awareness across California.

Let’s make 2017 a year for changing the numbers and saving lives! Happy New Year to All!

Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch – State Coordinator

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Learn more:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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Highlights of a Successful September Rail Safety Month 2016

Raising Rail Safety Awareness to Save Lives!

California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) and our Rail Safety Partners across the state participated in events statewide to raise rail safety awareness.

While CAOL works all year growing rail safety education throughout the state, September Rail Safety month provides us with an opportunity to shine a light on the need for community involvement to help raise awareness and save lives.

It is through proactive participation of our volunteers, support of our rail safety partners and communities statewide that we are able to enhance our efforts to help the public make good decisions around railroad tracks. Together we can heighten the message about the need to obey the signs signals and laws at grade crossings and along railroad tracks.

  • Every 3 hours a person or a vehicle is hit by a train in the United States
  • California ranks NO 1 in Trespass Casualties and No. 2 in Grade Crossing incidents.
  • We rank NO. 1 in fatalities for both Trespass & Grade Crossing incidents

These are statistics we need to change. It will take our rail safety education, working with Rail Safety Partners and getting communities involved to work together to change the daily dangerous behavior at  railroad tracks across the state.

Our Operation Lifesaver presentations and events in September reached over 11,000 people across the State, with more statistics still to be reported.

Our OL/FRA Billboard, Fresno Grizzlies Campaign and OL/FHWA Digital Ad Campaign numbers are being tallied but we hope to add an outreach of over 6 million statewide.

Without our amazing Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteers, it would be almost impossible to expand our outreach.

Our Rail Safety Partners not only supported us in our #SeeTracksThinkTrain campaign but participated in their own campaigns to increase awareness.

All of our campaign efforts were shared and spread across Social Media. Thank you to Operation Lifesaver Inc. for your support and to all who shared our messages.

We are grateful to all of our Volunteers, Rail Safety Partners, California Groups, and Communities for your participation in helping to make September Rail Safety Month 2016 a success!    

During September we promoted our “Save Lives-Tell 5” pledge. We asked the public, our volunteers, our partners, and the media to share the See Tracks Think Train message with at least 5 people. We asked them to share it with their family and friends and to ask those 5 to tell 5 and so on…

That pledge does not have to end in September. Help us carry on the message. Together we can change the numbers and save lives!

For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit: www.caol.us or  http://www.oli.org

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

 

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Save Lives – Tell Five!

California Operation Lifesaver is promoting rail safety awareness and asking the public to help save lives by sharing the safety message. Tell 5 and ask those 5 to tell 5 then post it on your social meda; #SeeTracksThinkTrain #ITOLD5

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Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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California Operation Lifesaver Kicks Off September Rail Safety Month

September Rail Safety Month – California Operation Lifesaver Promotes Rail Safety Awareness

Sacramento, CA., August 31, 2016 – The California State Legislature proclaimed September as Rail Safety Month in August 2009. Ranking number one in trespass casualties and number two in grade crossing incidents in the United States, there is a need to grow rail safety education.

California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL), a rail safety education group, provides free safety presentations for motorists and pedestrians throughout the state. Nancy Sheehan, the California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator, emphasized that rail safety is something all Californians should take seriously.

In 2015, there were 145 Trespass Casualties including 98 Fatalities, almost an 8% increase in fatalities since 2014. The number of Grade crossing incidents rose 15.6% during that same time frame.

Sheehan shared that about every 3 hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Operation Lifesaver is working to change people’s behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with their national public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train!

“These trespass and grade crossing incidents have devastating effects on families and communities. As a part of Operation Lifesaver’s mission to reduce deaths and injuries around trains, we urge the public to follow the laws, obey the signs and signals, never walk on the tracks and avoid distractions near railroad tracks” said Sheehan.

California Operation Lifesaver’s team of volunteers work to raise rail safety awareness all year long through presentations and participation in events statewide. During September Rail Safety Month CAOL volunteers will grow the message with presentations to schools, law enforcement, community groups and more.

During rail safety month CAOL will run a Billboard Ad campaign focused on raising trespass awareness utilizing an Operation Lifesaver/Federal Railroad Administration grant. The 30 Billboards will run in both English and Spanish in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Simultaneously, utilizing an Operation Lifesaver/Federal Highway Administration grant, CAOL will run a digital ad campaign focused on Grade Crossing Safety awareness. The digital ads will run at major sporting events at professional sports venues across the state.

More rail safety awareness efforts will be made possible as California Operation Lifesaver joins their Rail Safety Partners to participate in special safety train, media, and city/county events.

“The public, the media, and statewide local communities can help raise awareness and grow the message by avoiding dangerous behavior around railroad tracks.

We urge the public to Share the See Tracks? Think Train! message with family, friends and in their communities. We all need to work together to save lives!” said Sheehan.

For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit: www.caol.us or  www.oli.

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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Pokemon Go Players Urged to Avoid Dangerous Distractions near Railroad Tracks

The Pokémon Go game launched in early July in the U.S with follow up releases globally throughout the month. The game has become a phenomenon downloaded by over 75 million people worldwide.

This popular augmented reality game received credit for promoting physical activity. Concerns have risen over an increase in accidents and injuries caused by inattentive and distracted players.

Operation Lifesaver pointed out in their recent blog (http://bit.ly/2aDJQs2) that they and their “safety partners want players, parents, and others to be aware that the game may put people at risk, especially if their hunt for Pokémon takes them near train tracks.”

The National Safety Council’s statement addresses the safety concerns for pedestrians and drivers. The Association of American Railroads and many other railroads have issued statements about safety concerns that encourage players to avoid being distracted and not take risks near railroad tracks.

California Operation Lifesaver urges players to remember to avoid distractions and be aware of your surroundings. Never trespass on railroad tracks it’s dangerous and illegal. As the American Association of Railroads warns; Your life… Don’t risk it playing Pokémon Go – Stay Off Railroad Tracks!

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Read the Operation Lifesaver complete blog at: http://bit.ly/2aDJQs2 for information and links to safety tips.

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Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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